Earlier this month Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health declared that Halloween was a go in the province but what exactly does one have to know to celebrate the holiday safely during the pandemic?
Alberta Health Services (AHS) have released some quick tips for everything from trick-or-treating to hosting Halloween parties to follow to stay safe and reduce your chances of catching COVID-19.
• If you are feeling ill, even if the symptoms are minor, do not go trick-or-treating.
• Try to minimize your contact with others by only trick-or-treating with your family or cohort and remain in your community instead of travelling to other towns or cities. It is also important to still keep two metres apart from one another.
• Make sure you wash your hands and disinfect packages before eating candy. It is a good idea to carry hand sanitizer with you as you trick-or-treat.
• Choose costumes that you can wear a non-medical mask underneath, however, also make sure that you can see and breath properly.
• Avoid touching doorbells or railings and call “trick or treat” from two metres away from the door or house. Knock with a fist on the door instead of using doorbells and use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces.
When it comes to handing out candy, AHS is encouraging Albertan’s to get creative. Some ideas include setting up a table or desk to keep yourself distanced from trick-or-treaters and handing out treats from your driveway or front lawn weather permitting.
Making candy bags and keeping them spaced out is also suggested and AHS suggests ditching the self-serve bowls of bulk candy. Another fun way to hand out candy is trying out handy-person abilities by building a candy slide, candy catapult or other fun non-touch delivery methods.
Some important things to remember if you plan to hand out candy include:
• Don’t hand out candy if you are feeling ill or are isolating.
• Ask trick-or-treaters to knock or call out instead of ringing the bell, putting a sign in your yard or on your door can also help let trick-or-treaters know what you want.
• Use tongs to hand out pre-packaged candy to avoid handling treats.
• Wear a non-medical mask that fully covers your nose and mouth.
Lastly AHS has advice for attending or hosting Halloween parties in the safest way possible:
• Stay home if you are feeling ill, even if the symptoms are mild.
• Host your party outdoors weather permitting and if you have to stay inside make sure you reduce your gathering size, choose a location that allows for physical distancing between people from separate families and cohorts and provide hand sanitizer.
• The smaller the group the better.
• Ensure that you and other partiers wash or sanitize your hands often.
• Choose games and activities that don’t involve sharing items in addition to staying two metres apart.
• Don’t share any drinks, food, cigarettes, vapes or cannabis.
For an indoor party a maximum of 50 individuals are permitted to be in attendance as stated in AHS regulations and a maximum of 100 attendees for outdoor social gatherings or parties.